Archive for April, 2011

My own diet story


I just realized that I started writing this blog without even sharing my own diet story. Like most people these days, I am a dieter myself. I grew up as a chubby kid. I normally get picked on by my peers when I was a child because my face look like a steamed pork bun aka siopao.

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Growing up as a chubby kid, I grew up with fear of social acceptance. I still remember when I was in elementary, I would rather just go straight home after school and watch cartoons all day rather than to play with my classmates and cousins outdoors. I have very low self-esteem back then because I couldn’t do what the other kids do because I am physically unfit to lift myself up on the monkey bars and I was incapable of joining other outdoor games the other kids does.

Being frustrated growing up fat, I mindlessly just accepted myself being chubby so I didn’t worry about the foods that I eat. If it tastes good, I’d eat it and that has been my diet ever since.

When I reached high school, I started to get conscious in myself. I got so afraid that no girl would even like me because I look like a siopao. I tried everything I can to lose weight. I’ve tried once a day eating diet. I walked my way back home after school even though it worked to some degree, I became skinny fat. Skinny fat simply means a person who looks thin outside but full of flab underneath anyway so I stayed like that until college days then one time, I saw my friends attending a local gym and it inspired me to do some weight training sessions also. I didn’t worry about my diet; I just lifted weights, followed what the gym owner says(former bodybuilder). I’ve gotten lean but I still had the belly fat. Basically, I just put on some newbie muscle gains but technically, I’m still skinny fat.

After college, I moved to the United States from the Philippines so I stopped doing strength training since work is my new priority. I got married to my girlfriend(who is now my wife) a year after then I started packing on weight again.

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I never cared what I look like because I already found my better half anyway. So my wife and I had our first child then one day when I was trying to put on my pair of jeans, I thought that my clothes were shrinking. I didn’t realized that I actually got fatter so I went to a local bookstore and browsed the diet section. I saw this book called “The Abs Diet” so I excitedly purchased the book. I read the book, I’ve lost weight and seen results which made me lean although not as lean as I wanted to or shall I say not the results that I was really expecting.

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I still wasn’t happy so I tried to purchase more diet books trying to figure out why my fitness progress have stalled. I’m the type of person who seeks optimal results. I just don’t settle for what works but I always try to do my best to find what works best on a given situation. One day, I was browsing the internet and I came across to Lyle Mcdonald’s site(bodyrecomposition.com). I read the guy’s bio so I got really curious about his approach. So I purchased 3 of his books: The ketogenic diet, Ultimate Diet 2.0 and the stubborn fat solution. I highly recommend his stuff because I must say that the guy really know his stuff! I regularly read his articles and has been an active member of his forum. There I saw Alan Aragon’s name in one of the threads then I immediately googled this guy and I found out that Alan also has his own book called Girth Control. Let me tell you, this GC book is probably one of the best book I’ve ever read. Alan even taught me how to search scientific studies through pubmed.gov. I really learned a lot from these two guys. Anyway, after applying all the knowledge I’ve learned from Lyle, Alan and from various studies, I was able to understand the reason why my previous diets have failed me. Finally, I was able to see my abs definition. These are my progression pictures below:

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As of the moment, I am currently doing a Culking approach which basically means putting on weight while minimizing fat gain.

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I am currently working double jobs at the moment while doing regular three times a week session. I continuously read/ research about fitness and nutrition stuff during my free time. I hope my diet story inspired those of you who have busy lifestyle yet seeking to get in shape.

Update:

This was me when I went to my vacation in the Philippines:

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I’m currently dieting for fat loss again and here is my most recent pic:

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As of 11/ 21/ 2012

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02/21/13

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Please pardon the bathroom pic

04/24/13

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05/ 02/ 13

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If I can do it, everyone can do it too by signing up to my consultation service.

Hacking a diet


Let’s face it. Everyone seems to be on some sort of diet these days. If you try to google the word “diet,” it will give you different kinds of diets. Have you ever wondered why there are so many diets out there? It is simply because there is no single diet that works for everyone. Every individual responds differently from any dieting approach. This is the same reason why people argue over diets if which one is more superior but the truth is the superior diet is the one that works best on a given situation.

Hacking a diet, what does it mean?

Hacking is probably most common in the world of computer industry. People hack to steal or decode a certain computer program in order for a programmer to modify codes so that he can manipulate a certain program on his own hands. When it comes to dieting, same strategy applies. If and when you learn how to hack a diet, you can simply understand the logic how a certain diet works. All of these diets work up to some degree because it all follows the same basic principle of the energy balance. The primary key in hacking a diet is by getting familiar with the commonalities of successful diets. It means that all these diets work because there involves some restriction of calories of some sort. Some diets will tell you that calories don’t matter as long as you’re eating their prescribed foods while avoiding the others simply leads to calorie restriction. The only difference between these diets are the approach and strategies because as I stated above, there’s no single diet that would cater to everyone’s needs and lifestyle.

Basically, getting ourselves familiarized with the basic stuff such as calories and macronutrients: protein, fats, carbohydrates and alcohol; and how those fundamentals interact synergistically to each other. That’s it. It may sound complicated at first but in reality, all these diets work because it follows the same basic principle of nutrition science. Although there might be some diets out there which are more technically complicated, it still follows the same basics. The strategy or application may be different but it’s all about the similarities of all diets.

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The importance of hacking a diet is it allows us to select a certain diet of our choice as the basic template then from there, we could “hack” it to make it optimal in the context of making it personalized to our needs.

Making your fat loss easy Part II


In part I, I discussed some of the things that hinders our fat loss success. I will add more common problems and their solutions

4.) I want to lose weight but dieting is hard
No one wants to be hungry. No one likes the feeling of restraint. I agree and it’s pretty normal to feel that way. However, to lose weight, we need to eat less calories or burn more calories than we need or both.

Solution: Eating less calories doesn’t necessarily imply hunger. There are few things that are in our control to combat hunger while on a weight loss diet. One is increasing our lean protein intake along decreasing our total calorie intake. The other one is by increasing our dietary fiber intake. The simplest way to apply these strategies is by eating the bulk of our diet from whole foods. If we do so, we automatically increase both your protein and dietary fiber intake. There’s no reason to be afraid of fats either. Fats slows down gastric emptying meaning it keeps us full longer for several hours. Just take note that fats are not all created equal. A good source of fats should come from fatty fish such as tuna, salmon & sardines. Good fats also comes from avocados, olive oil, almonds and other nuts. Just don’t go crazy about fats. Studies have shown that high intensity exercise also blunts hunger. Personally, keeping myself busy not thinking about food while on a fat loss diet tend to make dieting easier. You may also wanna check intermittent fasting-type way of eating for convenience purposes.

5.) I don’t know how to cook
Learning how to cook is probably one of the most effective tool out there to include in your arsenal to maintain long-term weight management. Not only it would allow you to maximize the nutrient quality of your foods but you can also modify the recipe to suit your own palate.

Solution: Albeit, cooking at home is a very effective strategy for fat loss, it is definitely not the only way. Of course you need to eat somewhere to live. In the context of frequent outside food eating, a good strategy is to consider tracking your calorie intake. With our advance technology these days, calorie tracking isn’t as complicated as it used to be because you can even download smart phone apps that allows you to track your calorie intake. My personal favorite is fatsecret calorie calculator app and tap&track iPhone app(in case my mobile Internet went offline).
If you prefer not to count calories, another strategy that I can think of is to create staple foods in your diet. Always stick to the lowest calorie foods in a fast food or in a sit-down restaurant. These low calorie food choices are often the grilled chicken(minus the skin), steamed fish, low-fat steaks such as tenderloin and sirloin steaks, baked/ grilled pork/lamb chops, ham steaks, turkey breasts. As for the sides, since your goal is to slash as many calories possible, stick to the side salad with low fat or fat free vinegar-based dressing or skip the dressing at all or go with the steamed veggies. And also, ordering a soup prior to your main course may also help on creating early satiety. Just make sure that the soup you’re ordering is broth-based or a protein-rich ones. Here are some soups that are often low in calories: chicken broth soup, egg drop soup, hot & sour soup, miso soup, lentil soup, etc. I personally would stay away from cream-based soup. Those are often very high in fat and high in calories.

6.) I eat healthy yet I don’t lose weight

I’m not really sure what “healthy eating” really means. This is an example of a hasty overgeneralization without understanding the context of situation. Anyway, in my own definition of “healthy eating,” it probably means eating the majority of one’s diet from nutrient-dense food sources and probably a small room from “junk foods.” From that definition, even if you’re eating healthy but you’re also eating adequate or more calories than you need, you still won’t lose weight! Eating “healthy” and eating for fat loss are totally different categories although I believe that aiming for both is the optimal way.

Solution: It’s okay to eat nutritious foods on a diet regardless of the goal. But since your primary goal is to lose weight then your priority should aim for eating less calories than your body needs.

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Making your fat loss easy


There is something that I just realized recently about life in general and this is to just worrying and thinking only of the things that are in our control. Let’s face it, there are two types of events in life; those things that we can do something about and those that we cannot. To, make our life easier and be more productive, it makes more sense to just concentrate on the former.

Same rules apply to fat loss

How many of us wanted to lose weight so desperately that we tried almost every single weight loss pill in the market? How many diets have you tried that most of these diets even made you fatter? The reality is many of us spends the majority of our time thinking about irrelevant information. I’ve been researching endlessly about fat loss for the past four years until now. I’ve seen different dieting strategies that work and those advices that doesn’t.

Here are some of the topics that are worth addressing about and I’d tell you what you can do on the specific situation:

1.) Having a slow metabolism
Everyone wants to have a fast metabolism to stay lean and fit. Having a fast metabolism of course would help but the only way to have a faster metabolism is to be born again, change our physiological properties so our body could process incoming calories better. Another real way of boosting metabolism is to overfeed and to gain weight. However, overeating and gaining weight often leads to excessive accumulation of unnecessary body fat.

Solution: People don’t need a fast metabolism to lose weight. It helps but we should just worry on the things that we can control. Either eat less, move more or both. That leaves us those 3 options. Just because you claim to have a slow metabolism doesn’t mean you cannot lose weight. You probably just need to eat less calories than other people to lose weight but you still can lose weight. You probably burn less calories than the others but if you move more, you still burn calories.

2.) I have bad genetics
Okay, I don’t know if how many times I’ve heard of so many people saying these. Granted that you probably gain more body fat than lean body mass when you gain weight due to low p-ratio but your excuses wouldn’t change your physiology.

Solution: We cannot change our physiological structure but we can manipulate our diet and training to optimize our results. Again, these are the things that we can control. You either track your calorie intake, portion control, conduct daily or even weekly menu planning to make yourself eat less, it’s up to you. At the end of the day/ week, what matters most is that you eat less calories than what you need. Training wise, have a regular exercise routine. Stop looking for the “revolutionary” fat-burning workout. Any exercise protocol done on a consistent basis would show results.

3.) I have no time to exercise
Very very common problem to most people. It’s more on psychological problem rather than a real problem itself. I personally work double jobs, I have a wife and three kids to support, I do household chores yet I still manage to include a regular exercise routine in my schedule.

Solution: It’s all about an efficient time management. Make time. Having no time or having time is a matter of choice. We either stay fat or lose weight, it’s our choice.

This is it for now. Time for me to hit the sack. I’ll write a part two next time.

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